Herbal Herpes Remedies

Find out how you can treat genital herpes outbreaks using natural herbal herpes remedies like lemon balm, St. John's Wort, medicinal mushrooms and herbal teas.

| November/December 2003

  • Lemon balm is one of a number of herbal herpes remedies you can use to decrease herpes outbreaks.
    Lemon balm is one of a number of herbal herpes remedies you can use to decrease herpes outbreaks.
    Photo By Fotolia/ulchik74

  • Lemon balm is one of a number of herbal herpes remedies you can use to decrease herpes outbreaks.

Learn more about these helpful herbal herpes remedies to help treat genital herpes outbreaks.

Herbal Herpes Remedies

Unfortunately, I am one of the many Americans who have genital herpes. I want to try and stay away from pharmaceutical medications because I do not want to ruin my liver. I have heard that herbs are sometimes used. Can you tell me more about them?
—M.B., Los Angeles, California 

Stansbury responds: Because herpes is a virus, all of the measures known to improve the immune system might reduce outbreaks. Our immune systems are weakened by too little sleep; too much stress; too much sugar, alcohol and processed foods; and by a diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables. Improvements in these areas should be the first step.

One of the most widely discussed natural therapies for herpes eruptions has been the essential amino acid lysine, shown to assist the body in fighting all viruses, including these difficult ones. Lysine often is combined with vitamin C and taken in 500-mg tablets three times per day with meals, doubling or tripling the dose at the first sign of an outbreak.

Herbs that have been specifically shown to be active against the herpes virus include lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). An inexpensive option would be to consume these herbs as tea — several cups per day — reducing over time as outbreaks improve. These also may be found in tincture and pill form in health-food stores.

Other herbs to consider are immune builders such as astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), echinacea (Echinacea spp.) and medicinal mushrooms. If outbreaks occur with stress more than the immune system being run down, also consider adrenal-supportive and nerve-supporting herbs such as ashwaganda (Withania somnifera).



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